YouTube has quietly added a selection of Hollywood movies that users can watch for free, provided they're willing to deal with sitting through ads. Created in 2005, YouTube is now so ubiquitous in millions of people's daily lives that it almost feels like there was never a world without it. While YouTube's main draw is its selection of original programming provided by its many busy content creators, the site has also been steadily trying to branch out beyond that. For instance, YouTube now operates a dedicated music streaming service called YouTube Music, and operates an online alternative to cable TV simply dubbed YouTube TV.
While YouTube has long been a place users could rent or buy digital copies of their favorite mainstream movies, in October, the streaming giant quietly introduced the ability to watch select movies for free. Of course, nothing in life is truly free, and that means the movies are interrupted by ads. This now puts YouTube in the same arena entered into in late-2016 by Wal-Mart-owned service Vudu, which went from only offering films and TV shows to rent or buy to now curating a rotating roster of free, ad-supported titles dubbed "Movies on Us."
As reported on by Ad Age, YouTube's current selection of "Free to Watch" movies isn't exactly robust, sporting less than 100 titles. Most of the movies on offer aren't exactly classics either, although there are a few real gems included in the selection. At the same time though, this is a new feature, and one assumes more movies will be added as the weeks and months go on.
Arguably the crown jewel of YouTube's library of free, ad-supported movies is 1984's The Terminator, one of the greatest sci-fi/action films ever made, and the success that really kicked off James Cameron's march to the top of the Hollywood heap. It also spawned a franchise that's still going today, via an upcoming sequel directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller, and featuring the return of original stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton. Don Bluth's acclaimed 1989 animated film All Dogs Go to Heaven is also available for free, as are the two Legally Blonde films starring Reese Witherspoon.
The other big offering in YouTube's free movie line-up is the entire original Rocky franchise, an especially good option with Creed II about to hit theaters. The 1976 classic that introduced the world to Sylvester Stallone's signature character is available, as is Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky V. Sadly, 2006 follow-up Rocky Balboa isn't included, and neither is the first Creed movie. Still, those were late additions to the franchise, while the first five installments form a consistent series made during the same era. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon than watching Rocky knockout Ivan Drago for free.
Source: Ad Age